Monday, September 26, 2005

When Ryan was very small, his main concern was sharing with whomever he could get to stand still whatever it was he had in his hand. When he was overtired he would get hot to the touch, a sleepy littleboy furnace.
Eric wanted to make sure that everyone was covered with his blankie if they were sitting on the couch. When he was very sleepy he would suck on the fingers of his right hand backwards.
When I am overtired, I rub my forehead. It pushes back some of the pressure between my skin and my brain.

Being a good sibling does not run in my family, if my father's stories of adolescent knife fights and broken limbs are even partially true. Our family was always more a game of psychic dodgeball than it was anything resembling what was on tv. Maybe that's why I've never really watched it.

I have been on auto-jitter lately, imagining palmetto bugs out of the corner of my eye. On top of that, I have been cultivating a talent at putting myself in awkward situations. Somehow my better judgment has gone on vacation.

My mother called a few days ago to let me know that my cousin, a year older than me, is now pregnant with her fourth child. There is also some story about her ex-husband's girlfriend coming to beat her up while she was pregnant with the last one, but my attention drifted.
She does not, she assures me, want me to worry about catching up. Which is good because the thought had never crossed my mind. I find myself comparing our timelines, my mother's and mine, tracking where she was in her various marriages and the raising of myself when she was my age. I think, "At this time twenty-three years ago, she was two years away from her first divorce." And I realize that twenty-three years ago isn't really that far away, and that my imaginary parallel mom is shortly going to face the betrayal and the lunacy that would shape the rest of her life.
It's really then that I come to admire my mother. All of my own serious wounds have been from my family, who are people that you can't really trust to be on your side anyway. None of them have--yet--come from someone I have chosen to be around.

I apologize. I promise to be big-eyed and full of wonder again soon. It is shaping up to be a lovely fall and there are such good things coming. I have a terrible habit of dwelling on what I can't fix.

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